It’s strange that the latest Daily Post Weekly Challenge focused on names. I just deleted a draft post about this subject, specifically about my name, Barbara. I never cared much for my name. It’s rather bland, and the nicknames aren’t particularly flattering. You have Barb, and that reminds me of barbed wire. Then there’s Barbie, which just sets me up for self-esteem and body-image issues. Babs leaves me babbling or babyish. I must not be alone in my distaste for the name because rarely will you run into any Barbara’s below the age of forty. According to the Social Security Administration, the last time it made the top five baby names list was in 1951. Apparently though it was popular enough prior to the fifties to hold onto sixth place in a most-popular names from 1913-2012 list. There’s even an epitaph to my name at the Nameberry blog called Vanishing Names: So Long, Susan; Bye Bye, Barbara.
I have three sisters, and one hit the name jackpot. Her name is so unique and lovely, that to even mention it in this blog, would reveal who she is. So for her privacy, I will remain quiet about her name. But oh, I was always envious of her name. To have a name like hers, what I would have done! I’d be an internationally famed writer of course, traveling the world and giving speeches that would rock the core of every listener.
For the writers among you, how do you select your characters’ names? For my in-progress (ever and always in-progress) novel, I spent a day researching each of my primary characters’ names. I wanted my surnames to mean something and their first names to meld with the surname to match each characters’ needs and desires. I am curious, do all writers do this? Or was this yet another way to avoid writing?
How do you select your characters’ names?